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Day four in the new cat owners house

(15 Posts)
dorothymichaels Thu 25-May-17 09:53:18

So on Monday I adopted two seven year old sisters. They have always been indoor cats and were put in rescue because their elderly owner was very ill. They are not used to kids but mine are older and very sensible so the rescue were find with me taking them.
Molly (on right in picture) has been great. Curious, gentle and playful. She sits next to us on the sofa, purrs, gives kisses and I'm getting really fond of her already.

Bridget (the lighter grey) was described as the more reserved sister. Unfortunately her first move on arriving at our house was to climb up the chimney. I had to pull her out by her rear end as couldn't risk her getting stuck out there. She also got a fright yesterday when she accidentally got in the way of DH. She jumped and landed on me, giving me some nice scratches. She seems to be getting more confident and has come to me for some treats, but makes an odd purr when near me (self-soothing??) and gave me a little hiss after one stroke too many.

I have never had a cat before. Worried I've traumatised the poor thing. What are they chances she'll come round do you think? We are all being very gentle with her. She is mostly under the sofa but has come out to explore and sat under a table near to us all. No lashing out or anything more than a little hiss.

Justmadeperfectflapjacks Thu 25-May-17 09:56:41

Ah pretty dcats!!
Sounds like you are smitten already!!
The fact they aren't still hiding under a bed is great!!
Doesn't sound like they have been handled by anyone but the old owner. .
A tube of Primula will have them tamed in no time!!
My gm dcat used to sit at the fridge door and howl for it!!

ifonly4 Thu 25-May-17 10:07:28

Gorgeous cats, I grew up with one like them.

They've been through a lot, change of home, spending time caged up. It sounds like Bridget may always be the more nervous one of the two, but she's been through a lot and is in a new environment. I think you just have to be gentle around her (ie not rush too much around the house too much), not force yourself on her, ie if she doesn't want attention at that time leave it. The hiss was probably her just being defensive as she doesn't know she can trust you at the moment. I know you can't constantly give them treats, but my two used to love Webbox tubes with a chicken/yogurt type liquid in it. Let her see you put food down and leave her to it - she should love you in time even if just for this.

If they're going to remain indoors cats, have you got any toys for stimulation when their ready. Mine loved the cheap things like ping pong balls, chasing around after an old shoe lace.

Regarding the chimney, I guess you're not using it this time of year, so I'd stuff an old pillow up there, that way, she won't get far as it'll be wedge tightly up there. Our two came to us as kittens and we also found an old board to put in the front. I know I'd be tempted, but if she's under the sofa try not to look at her too much, that way she can relax and she's probably trying to assess what's going on elsewhere.

I know they're all different, but our more nervous cat ended up being the one who craved love and company, although, our other cat loved company he enjoyed the other things in life a bit more.

Toddlerteaplease Thu 25-May-17 10:08:53

Primula. Good suggestion!

dorothymichaels Thu 25-May-17 10:25:22

(puts primula on shopping list).
Thank you. I'm not sure about letting them explore outside. Seven is a fair age for a cat and it might be too much. Not until they are properly settled I think. We have a mouse on a string thing they both love and will get more toys this weekend.
There is a pillow stuffed up the chimney already. I'm not taking that chance again!! Here is Molly enjoying the sun.

Toddlerteaplease Thu 25-May-17 11:16:52

Seven is still a youngster. Never understood why cats are classed as senior at 7. We had a cat that lived till 18. And mumsnet royalty Seniorboy lived to 22!

dorothymichaels Thu 25-May-17 13:01:29

I tried cream cheese as an alternative. She licked but wasn't keen! Then I gave her a box. She jumped straight in. She comes to get treats and sort of circles round me. I think that's progress.

GoldTippedFeather Thu 25-May-17 13:14:39

Our cat is a rescue and is a bit like you describe. She loves my husband and climbed all over him from day one but with me it's taken a long time to earn her trust. She was mistreated by a female owner before she was rescued so it may be that.

She used to run and hide when I walked into a room but it's now been 2 years (I said a long time!) and I am able to approach her and stroke her, she sometimes although very rarely sits on my lap. I just gave her her space, she knows I am not going to approach her unless she makes the first move and I am the one who is more likely to give her a scrap of chicken or a prawn (bribery is the foundation of our bond I feel). It is working for us just very slowly.

dorothymichaels Thu 25-May-17 13:33:07

Thanks GoldTipped. I just had a play with her - she loves the mouse on a string, and gave her some dreamies. She won't take from my hand but comes close. I'm allowed to give her the briefest stroke. Even if she's not a lap cat, her sister is and we can keep them together.

dorothymichaels Thu 25-May-17 13:34:39

Here's Bridget doing the cat in a box thing.

Needingsomeadvice Thu 25-May-17 13:35:34

My late dcat had a heart condition when we got him. He was a wonderful cat, but very ill before we even had chance to let him out. The main vet said he ought to stay indoors, but the vet at the hospital (who was a cardiologist) was keen to say let him be a cat, and if he expressed a wishort to go out then let him.
Well, after quite a few months indoors, he was getting very irritable and seeming like he wanted out. I tried letting him out but he wouldn't go far before darting back in. I was guessing it all smelled weird to him. One day I was cleaning and swilling out his litter tray and had the idea of pouring the water I had swilled around in the tray onto the empty flower beds all around the garden. Not sure if coincidence, but he went out much less defensively and did a wee on the soil too! So I kept on doing it, hoping that after a few days the garden would smell like him too and help him feel a bit more like his garden. It worked I think! He loved going out. Never went far, and I did bring him back in at night (called him on for dinner and he stayed in after that) but he really did appreciate sunning himself in the garden, sitting on the wall, looking around in the field next to our house and trying to hunt stuff, etc. So you might want to keep them in a month or so, then try it yourself. It is lovely sitting in the sunny garden with your cat (s).

dorothymichaels Thu 25-May-17 14:06:13

Thanks needingsomeadvice. I really hope so. It would be a much nicer life for them to get a bit of fresh air.

ifonly4 Thu 25-May-17 14:50:52

They'll need to be kept in for a few weeks to get a real feel where home is. Also, anything too soon might unnerve them and giving their still settling in. You've got time, but you could consider getting them collars with contact details on/having them microchipped.

It's different for every owner and their cats, but my two loved the freedom of going out, especially my boy. Lottie is now 17 (so an old lady) and all she does is walk up the path, behind the shed, do her business and come back in - it's the same every time but I think it's good she has a change of scenery.

marmaladegranny Thu 25-May-17 15:15:14

My dcat was 11 when we moved in with my daughter. Although he had a tumour he had always gone outside at the old place. My daughter has a massive garden and we were concerned about dcat getting lost so, when he started to want to go out, I invested a rabbit harness. This fitted him ok, though he was not too keen to begin with, and meant he could be taken on exploring wanders around the garden until he got used to going alone. We were much happier to permit solo walks after a couple of months. Even at 11 he learnt to catch baby rabbits!
He was a beautiful ginger and white boy but last summer the liver tumour won the battle.

Want2beme Thu 25-May-17 15:24:13

They are lovely. They'll soon whip you into shape!

Have fun with them.

I love this.

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